Industrial Biotech Industry Leaders Discuss Keys To Strategic Partnership Success

The keys to successful industrial biotech business relationships mirror those for successful personal relationships, industry leaders explained today.  During the final Lunch Plenary Session of BIO’s 2011 World Congress in Toronto, moderator James Stoppert, CEO of BioAdvisors, along with panelists Patrick Gruber, CEO of Gevo, Ron Commander, Head of Butyl Rubber Business Unit at Lanxess, Christophe Schilling, CEO of Genomatica, and Hisao Urata, General Manager of Corporate Planning at Mitsubishi Chemical discussed “Strategic Partnerships for More Robust Value Chains” and identified some key components to that end.

First, there was general consensus among all panelists that partnering is a necessary ingredient to success for both small and large industrial biotech companies.  Smaller and start-up companies may look to partnering with a larger company to accelerate commercialization or to provide investors added comfort necessary for them to invest.  Larger companies, on the other hand, may look to partner with smaller ones to help move along innovation to commercialization.   Either way, as Gruber explained, the only successful industry partnerships will be those in which both companies are committed to seeing the project through to commercialization.

Panelists drew from their vast experience and laid out other key qualities of successful industrial biotech partnerships, which all include mutual

  • respect,
  • candid and transparent communication, and
  • understanding and timely delivery of goals and objectives. 

The bottom line for industrial biotech business partnering success is that there needs to be a mutual “good fit” between partners and a fundamental intent to commercialize.